Monday, April 22, 2013

Human Spirit and Goodness Triumphs Over Evil: Thoughts Coming Out of the Boston Tragedy

The bombing in Boston was awful.  A day of celebration and athleticism was struck by an evil act.  It hits you in the gut every time the news reports one of these tragedies.

Sadly, history is full of these atrocities where innocent people are harmed for a few sickos' misguided agenda.  You have stomach turning events that will always be seared into our mind like the 1920 Wall Street Bombing, the Holocaust, 1966 Texas Clock Tower Shooting, 1974 Ma'alot massacre, 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, and 9/11.  I could compose a giant slaying tome with the numerous tragedies caused by evil humans.  Every single mention of these events makes me feel uneasy and crushed over all those innocent people who died far too soon.

The sad reality is that atrocious attacks on innocent people have existed as long as humans have been on Earth.  It won't take very long to discover attacks on schools and the attempted genocide of an entire race or other brutalities have occurred in almost every decade.  The evil side of humanity has always been plaguing us, and it is enough to just make you breakdown and cry.

Those events up there have something else in common.  They all had actions that were the exact opposite of evil and brutality.  There were people running towards the carnage and fire so that they could possibly save a few more lives.  You had brave souls stepping in front of the gun to sacrifice themselves so others could live.  There were people risking their lives by hiding a group of humans that an evil government has tried to destroy.  There are the real life super heroes known as the first responders, police officers, and firefighters who die because they put it all on the line to protect and save lives.  The crushing events of tragedy almost always have remarkable acts of heroics, bravery, and most importantly, goodness.

In a lot of these tragic events, it is only a handful (or sometimes even just one) depraved monsters committing the pure evil.  It is counteracted with hundreds or even thousands of compassionate and selfless acts.  Evil events cause the human spirit to rise.  It stirs something in the common and good person where they find bravery they did not know possible and stand up to be a noble warrior focusing on saving, helping, and protecting.

You can't forget the evil of all these actions.  It is disrespectful to discount the many lives that were lost.  But we also need to remember that every single time the true human spirit has soared in these situations.  It has been proven that for the majority of humankind, we're good people who choose to help and protect our fellow human.  There are so many willing to sacrifice and die so that others can be safe.  We want this world to be a better place.  If we can remember how strong the human spirit and goodness can be then it will be.  It has to be.

I still get butterflies when I see pictures of the firefighters covered in ash and dirt while trying to locate survivors around the World Trade Centre buildings.  I'm moved to tears when I hear the stories of the police officers and firefighters who died because they went back one more time to try to save one more life.  I was moved the exact same way when reading about the Boston Marathon Bombings.  The stories about the runners who were going towards the fire and disaster because they were trying to save their fellow competitors.  The first responders who were quick on the scene and only focusing on trying to help as many people as possible.  There were countless photos of people lifting up their fallen fellow humans or trying to rush someone to safety.  Deep down there was something in each of these people's souls that screamed "I must put these people first and must save them."  Great acts of heroics and selfless goodness overcame the evilness.  There were more heroes than villains during each of these tragedies.

I'd rather the evil stops.  I wish I didn't have to read about a bombing and massacre every other day.  It beats down on my soul and wears out my heart.  But I'm also not naive and know the sick and depraved will still linger.  They will continue to attack.

But the human spirit won't die.  It will remain too.  It is stronger.  Every time there will be more stories about bravery and nations uniting after a tragedy than there will be about evil attacks.  I know most of us are truly good.  It is the tragedies that prove this.  We must remember that during the darker times, but also let it continue during the brighter times too.

I choose hope.  I believe in the human spirit and goodness.  It is what transforms barbaric acts into truly remarkable acts of courage, compassion, and selflessness.  

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